"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": No More
I wrote this on December 26, 2010 and decided to publish it now, since it was rejected before on another site.
Being a former sailor myself, one’s sexual orientation has plenty of significance. It’s a defining factor to who you are as an individual. It affects one’s outlook on life to a large degree, and can affect those around you. If you disagree with that theory, even though I hate to reminisce, I can recall Boot Camp shower times, where 3 to 4 girls washed their naked bodies under one shower head in an open stall with countless other women. How’s that for camaraderie? I’d supposed the men would definitely need soap on a rope when it came to their shower times, if they indeed had the same set up we did. I still cringe at that memory.
Even more so, imagine favoritism, and not getting promoted because perhaps you aren’t a part of the pretty boy crew, so your Chief or Commanding Officer doesn’t give you the greatest evaluation… Everyone has biases, based on their belief system as adapted by who they are and what they experience or like and desire. But all these little logistics are insignificant when you look at the big picture.
When it comes to this policy, most people forget we live in America and are Americans, American being defined loosely, because most everybody fits the billet nowadays, being born here, or sworn in as a citizen. America is the place people come to seek a new and even better life, where they have freedoms they’d never dream, aside from opportunity: the freedom of speech, the freedom to practice the religion of their choice, the right to work as a woman and vote and so forth, and the list of freedoms go on and on and on, no doubt.
That said, why should having the freedom to be who you are, -sexually, be restricted from that list of freedoms? In a country where we have the freedom to pray to who we want to pray to, or not at all, why should one’s sexual orientation be a moral issue? A lot of people don’t say the pledge of allegiance any more perhaps because of the line “One nation under God” being fictitious, as not everyone is a believer or somewhat skeptical.
Is this problematic? That delves into a whole new topic, which I might write an article on, despite the sensitivity of the subject matter; but I will say this in answering that question: look at the countries past and present who hedge everyone under a specific religion, and shun those who are non-believers… what became of those nations, or what will become of these countries? It’s happening now… God or the universe or however you’d like to define the entity we describe as creating and presiding over the earth and possibly the universe, has given all the inherent right of freedom of choice. When that is taken away, war inevitably results from my stand point. Jihad meaning holy war is the most humorous of oxymoron’s I have ever heard. What is holy about a war?
Getting back to case and point, the removal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military is long overdue. It’s bad enough you are old enough to die for your country, but not old enough to consume an alcoholic beverage, but to not have the same rights, equal rights, same privileges as your comrades, who you’d die for, and never leave behind, because you desire the same sex is a bit ludicrous. In states where same sex marriages were merited, same sex couples are presumably afforded the same rights, and opportunities heterosexual couples have. That said, imagine, being in a same sex marriage, with children even, in the military, willing to sacrifice your life for your country, but your children and mate aren’t able to get the medical care they would otherwise get, if you were the opposite sex; not to mention housing, commissary, discounts and all those programs and opportunities available to service members and their families. Imagine at every military function, your partner and family never being able to attend, unless possibly as a friend, or relative, other than as your spouse and children, deceptive on their part, but when it comes to morals, -morally wrong on ours – to subject someone to such bias and discrimination, based on something some people judge as a sickness, a sin, corrupt and the like, -based on their logic, or inner feelings, or the religion they bought into and choose to believe. Don’t ask, don’t tell… it’s no one’s business, and how is it relevant to one’s work, duties or military service? Equal rights, is the answer… freedom is morality, meaning live and let live. Who are you to judge and tell someone else how to live? When another’s living causes fatal or life threatening problems and issues for you and yours personally, -then it should be evaluated and resolved or condemned, otherwise you are the immoral savage. “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.” ~Stephen R. Covey Comments welcome…